Manteca’s ugly ducking thoroughfare — Moffat Boulevard — is inching closer to swan status.
The $1.16 million Moffat Community Center in the 500 block that is expected to break ground in the coming weeks is the latest city investment along the road that once served as the southern Highway 99 entrance to Manteca. The city may also locate a dog park along Moffat this year as well.
The City Council reaffirmed last month during their goal setting and budget review workshop that eliminating blight along Moffat Boulevard is still a city priority.
Moffat Boulevard just over 19 years ago was one of the last few left exits for northbound traffic traveling Highway 99 through the Central Valley.
Once motorists crossed over southbound traffic on an arching bridge they were dumped onto Moffat that ran past tumbleweed infested fields, an aging cattle feed lot, the back entrance to Spreckels Sugar, shuttered businesses, inexpensive motels, abandoned gas stations, dilapidated buildings, recycling centers and not much more until they reached South Main Street.
Ten years ago the city launched an effort to breathe new life into Moffat. The city with the community center construction will have invested almost $13 million along Moffat during the past decade.
Among the municipal investments:
• The Spreckels Park BMX Park.
• Extending Industrial Park Drive across the railroad tracks to Moffat where it intersects with Spreckels Avenue.
• A landscaped storm basin complete with trees.
• More than 250 trees planted along the Tidewater Bikeway’s Moffat leg.
• A new water treatment plant.
• Repaving and the installation of curbs, gutter, and sidewalk as correction of storm drain problems from Spreckels to Main.
• Tidewater-style traffic signals at Spreckels/Industrial and Moffat.
Equally important are things that are no longer on Moffat.
• The old Moffat Feed Lot where market cattle were fed sugar beet pulp to produce the odor that hung Manteca with the moniker “Manstinka” for decades.
• Elimination of overnight truck parking on city property in the heart of the Moffat corridor.
• A successful effort to stop illegal dumping on city property that parallels the Tidewater Bikeway.
• The razing and removal of several abandoned buildings and other structures gutted by fire.